Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Clean Basement Can Be a Sad Basement

Lots of memories in that bag.
This is one of those posts where you'd read something sappy like: "I threw out their old toys, but I didn't throw out the memories."

Though I'm loath to write things like that (I'm also loath to use the word loath), I do believe that I feel the pangs of sentimental nostalgia as much as — if not more than — the average person.

Anyway. This week I attempted my latest basement cleanup, a task that often feels as Sisyphean as sweeping a dirt floor.

My basement floors are Pergo, not dirt, at least, but I had plenty of work ahead of me. For the past year we've allowed the kids to sleep in the basement on the weekend — mainly so they'll leave us alone (note: they don't always leave us alone, regardless) — and I've been too lazy to deflate the air mattresses every Monday, since they have to be inflated again on Friday night.

The inflated mattresses consume about 90 percent of the space that's not already covered with furniture (not counting the basement office, which is a Black Hole of Calcutta in its own right), so for a long time the area has built up a considerable amount of detritus that anthropologists classify as "crap."

Mrs. The Anthony Show's aunt is staying with us this weekend, and my sister and her baby are coming for a few days next week, so I deflated the mattresses — the escaping air smelled like 2012 — and went to work.

And I was a little more ruthless than usual, getting rid of some toys that my kids hadn't played with since before they were developmentally able to to form words that could be used to talk back or otherwise sass me and their mother.

Many of the destined-for-the-trash items brought back memories. Like, for example, this:

The koala, not my hand.
This little koala is part of what Fisher-Price calls the Little People A to Z Learning Zoo but what was known around our house as That Thing With All The Animals That Go Missing And Show Up In Weird Places Like The Polar Bear Under The Toilet. 

The set consists of 26 animals, each representing a letter of the alphabet — they complete the set with copouts like "X-ray fish" for "X" — and they all live harmoniously in or around this treehouse:

No vacancy.
It's a perfect toy for infants and toddlers because the animals are colorful and plentiful, and they're too big to be swallowed by kids with average-sized maws. I'm guessing that my kids, who are 7 and 9, haven't played with this thing since 2009, so into the trash it and most of the animals went. They will be missed more by me than the kids.

I'll have a few more photos updated in a later post.

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